The New Normal Project is our seventh stewardship campaign at Granger. For those of you saying, "What the heck is a stewardship campaign?" -- it's a concentrated time when we talk about the vision of the church and ask people to invest financially to make a difference. I've led six of these campaigns (1995, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2011). In some ways there were similarities between all of them. But this year more changed than ever. I think it's an indication of changing times. Here are some of the things that were different this year...
- We didn't call it a "campaign." That's a churchy word that isn't helpful in the real world. When most people hear the word "campaign" they think of politics or war. Neither are images we want in people's mind when we are asking them to buy into the vision.
- We spent an entire year ahead of time working on a new five-year vision. The New Normal Project became the "face" for accomplishing the first part of the vision. By the time we made the "ask," people had been hearing about the vision for months.
- We had very few extra events (i.e. banquets, home meetings) and focused everything we could around the weekend services. People are very busy with very good things--and most of them can only give us one shot a week. That doesn't mean they are unspiritual or don't love Jesus or the church. It just means they are living their lives, investing in their families, and contributing to society.
- Instead of asking people to make a three-year pledge, we asked for a two-year pledge. These are uncertain economic times, and we know most people can't predict their financial condition very far down the road with any confidence.
- We took 24 businessmen on a vision retreat to California. It gave us a chance to talk vision and hear their questions.
- This was our first project that focuses squarely on the AND of ministry. No longer are we investing solely in reaching people through an attractional model of weekend services. We are pouring millions into a missional model to reach people through a variety of ways and places.
- The level of transparency was increased significantly. We had multiple Q&A venues to let people ask anything they wanted--and we didn't dodge any question.
- We developed a website and are posting pledges and stories in real time. Rather than waiting for a big "unveiling" of the total amount pledged--we are letting people watch from their homes and offices as the commitments are made.
- We put together a two-year strategy for keeping The New Normal Project in the front of peoples' minds. We have plans, about every three months, to celebrate a win and connect it to the project.
- The first phase of the project focused on the members and attendees at our physical campuses. The second phase will begin soon and will focus on those around the world who have felt the impact of Granger's ministry.
It may be a bit early to say this, but I am very happy with the results.
P.S. We are grateful for the help we've had from RSI Church Stewardship (thanks to Bill, Joel, and Dan)--once again they stretched and supported us.